- Fe awards
It should come as no surprise that Berlin, increasingly regarded as the party capital of Europe, if not the world, is home to a veritable cornucopia of drinking establishments. Still, despite its sybaritic reputation, Berlin has a highly civilised bar and pub culture. The only issue for visitors is choosing where to go from the vast universe of locations on offer. Here are 10 of our favourites.
Bar Tausend’s unassuming exterior offers no indications of the elegance that awaits visitors within – literally, as it has no sign or markings. However, this really isn’t a bar to miss. Its futuristic décor transports you into a science fiction movie, and its sizeable array of unique cocktails is similarly space-age.
A long-established speakeasy in Prenzlauer Berg, Becketts Kopf doesn’t allow smoking (a rarity in Berlin’s bar scene) and offers cocktails at the finer end of the spectrum. Friendly staff will make recommendations, or knock up something just for you.
Arguably the best example of Berlin’s numerous Kneipen, this working man’s club literally hasn’t shut in 30 years. The beer is cheap and abundant, and table football and pool offer a fun distraction while you sup. Why not challenge a frequenting local to a game or two?
An expression of Berlin’s spontaneous, liberal character, Die Weinerei operates an ‘honours’ system; visitors pay an upfront fee of a few euros, and receive a glass in return. They can drink as much as they like, and leave as much as they feel in the tips jar on the way out. Somehow, this system seems impervious to abuse – and excessive drunkenness on the part of its patrons.
A favourite with trendies young and old for almost a decade, Kim’s low-key exterior belies a constantly effervescent atmosphere inside. Its DIY aesthetic and live DJ soundtrack evokes the city’s 90s squat culture, and the low pricing seems similarly future-resistant too.
Situated on Kreuzeberg’s bustling Oranienstrasse, and replete with an outdoor terrace overlooking the lively street below, Luzia merges modernity and nostalgia. The main bar area is constantly buzzing, but customers seeking a more intimate evening have many smaller booths and rooms to choose from.
Located in the heart of the closest thing Berlin has to a business centre, its opulent leather and oak furnishings and private cigar lounge are an indication of its typical clientele. Still, drinks aren’t too pricey, and its terrace is great in the summer.
Established in 1837, this is Berlin's oldest beer garden, and an absolute must visit in the summer. Over 600 can comfortably lounge, and it’s a favourite of locals and tourists alike. Many of its beers are homebrewed, and it offers a small menu of homemade regional dishes and snacks.
While visitors have to knock to enter, this bar is anything but elitist. Owner Atalay Aktas has won awards for his cocktails, and just one sip of his concoctions makes clear why. Three distinct areas cater to different moods, and visitors can pick their own ingredients for a personalised experience.
Step out of Berlin and into the backstreets of Seoul at Soju, where vibrant neon lights, cheap (not to mention strong) drinks and a funky soundtrack make for quite the dizzy mise en scène. There’s even a karaoke booth for that authentic Korean flavour.